Anemone Is Not The Enemy

Anemone lives alone in the rock pool.
The tide comes in and the tide goes out.

It’s hard to find a friend when you accidentally sting everyone who comes near you.

Perhaps Clownfish has the solution…

A Bright tale of self-acceptance, making friends and waiting until your tie comes in.

With humour and imaginative flair, Anemone is Not the Enemy encourages children’s curiosity about what’s happening below the surface.

Published By Scribble (Scribe)
CMYK and Neon Pink
Hardback RRP $24.99 AUD

Australia & NZ – out now
USA & Canada – June 2021
UK & Ireland – August 2021

Anemone sketch

The Idea

The idea for Anemone is Not the Enemy began with the title. I felt like there was a story there. Still, it wasn't until one day, on a flight up to Brisbane, I looked out the window down at the coastline and had the idea of the tide rising and falling in a rock pool as a unique plot driver which unlocked the whole story for me.

This book is like a play/theatre set, told almost purely in dialogue with only the characters and tide height changing from scene to scene. I built interest, pace and visual breaks by including two white and neon 'sting pages' and a dark 'despair page'. The final spread shows the rock pool zoomed out – revealing to the reader the answer to Anemone's earlier questions about the ocean beyond.

I hope that readers of this book will discover that if you can empathise with this little sea-creature, you can empathise with people you encounter that may struggle socially. I also hope this book will lead to greater curiosity about coastal rock pools. It's a fascinating world of its own, and I've included some facts on the last page for curious young minds.

About the creator

Melbourne based author/illustrator/designer Anna McGregor is devoted to giving her young readers modern, fun, quirky and conceptual stories.

Anna finds her ideas by turning the mundane on its head, merging two unrelated thoughts or exploring wordplay – but always with a story that connects to the human experience.

Anemone Is Not The Enemy (Scribble) is her second book as author/illustrator.

Image: Anna as a child with her parents. Photo by Bobby Wyman.

Anna McGregor as a child
Anemone Activity Sheets


Download the activity sheet using the link below.

Anemone Activities


• Shortlisted in the CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Reader
• Longlisted in the ABIA Australian Book Industry Awards, Small Publishers’ Children’s Book of the Year

Anemone is Not the Enemy Book Cover